How do you say swear words in Greek?

By: | Post date: 2016-02-25 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: Linguistics, Modern Greek

With gusto?

*Look at his stats*

*Finds that his most popular answer ever is  Nick Nicholas’ answer to What does the Greek word “malaka” mean?*

*Breathes in*

Let’s go with Lenny Bruce’s 9 dirty words, the predecessor to George Carlin’s Seven dirty words .

  • ass
    • κώλος. Cognate with colon. Is used for both arse and arsehole. 
  • balls
    • αρχίδια. From Ancient Greek ὄρχις, and thus cognate with orchid (which someone thought looked like testicles). The only body part used to characterised someone as disagreeable.
  • cocksucker
    • Is not invective in Greek. But cock is a dirty word: πούτσος. Etymology uncertain: Turkish puç and Italian puzzo have been suggested.
  • cunt
    • μουνί. Etymology uncertain; maybe Venetian monna, maybe an Ancient word for fluff.
  • fuck
    • γαμώ.  The verb meant “marry” in Ancient Greek. It doesn’t now. The verb that means “marry” now is παντρεύομαι, which means “go under a man”. Men do it as well though; noone realises the etymology. As indeed they shouldn’t.
  • motherfucker
    • Not a taboo that gets used in invective in Greek; the closest I’ve ever seen is σκυλοπηδημένη, “screwed by a dog”.
  • piss
    • κατουρώ (verb), κάτουρα (noun). From the Ancient οὖρον “urine” (cognate); it just means “pissing down”.
  • shit
    • σκατά (noun), χέζω (verb); both with impeccable Ancient pedigree.  σκατά is old enough that its original singular is σκώρ, following the old wetar-wetenas paradigm like ὕδωρ-ὕδατος
  • tits
    • βυζιά. Late Greek, possibly cognate with bosom.

I could expand into the niceties of collocation, blasphemy, and cultural taboos, but that should be enough for now.

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